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Hey I need advice about domain registration and choosing a web host. I just registered icecubeflower.com with register.com but I've been doing some reading and I'm starting to think that was pretty dumb. It looks like they charge more for no apparent reason. And I cannot make any sense out of all the things I find about web hosts. This whole thing just seems like a breeding ground for scam artists. So can anyone tell me who is an honest web host before I make another dumb decision? Does it depend on where you live? If I live in St. Louis then are there local hosts I should choose from or should I just go with yahoo or somebody? I don't even get the whole domain registration thing, it makes no sense to me. Why are companies getting money for doing nothing. I think the government should register domain names. Or maybe I should get in on the action and become a domain name registerer. Hey, I'll sell you guys domain names a buck a piece. Let me know if you're interested.

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Original post by icecubeflower
I just registered icecubeflower.com with register.com but I've been doing some reading and I'm starting to think that was pretty dumb. It looks like they charge more for no apparent reason.


The reason is that you pay for ease of access—the additional fee corresponds to the time you did not have to spend searching for a cheaper registrar. In practice, all .com registrars will charge you at least $6.25 for every registration. The registrar list is available on the VeriSign website: link.

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And I cannot make any sense out of all the things I find about web hosts. This whole thing just seems like a breeding ground for scam artists. So can anyone tell me who is an honest web host before I make another dumb decision? Does it depend on where you live? If I live in St. Louis then are there local hosts I should choose from or should I just go with yahoo or somebody?


You most probably want a host which is close to your geographical location, so that your access to your website is faster.

Then, the basic criteria for comparing web hosts are the price and the feature set. Look at several web hosts, compare them together, look at critical reviews for them, and go with the one which seemed better.

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I don't even get the whole domain registration thing, it makes no sense to me. Why are companies getting money for doing nothing. I think the government should register domain names. Or maybe I should get in on the action and become a domain name registerer.


Which government? I mean, clearly the Nigerian government should be responsible for .com domain names. Or perhaps the Chinese government.

Being a registrar is not "doing nothing": you have to process claims, publish the DNS data, publish the WHOIS data, make sure no two people register the same domain name, and prove that you're doing it correctly so that you keep your registrar status. Getting paid $10 for doing this is definitely nothing shocking!

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Hey, I'll sell you guys domain names a buck a piece. Let me know if you're interested.


You have to pay VeriSign $6 for every .com domain name (otherwise, they have no reason to bind your domain name to your IP, do they?) and the ICANN $0.25 for administrative fees related to protecting you from domain name theft by other entities. Besides, you also have to prove that you're a correct registrar (for instance, you don't scam people, and you respect the basic rules). But if you wish to sell me a domain name with a $5.25 rebate, I certainly am interested.

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I use namecheap for their great web hosting rates and have yet to see anything scammy there or elsewhere...

gamedev.net also apparently has hosting.

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I still say domain registration is a scam. I mean if someone registers a domain name with register.com then someone who tries to register that same name with namecheap.com they can't do it. So there must be some like overlord registration place with a master list of domains that register.com and namecheap.com both serve. So is in control of the master list?

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Original post by icecubeflower
So is in control of the master list?


At the highest level, it's the ICANN, which then delegates top-level domains to individual registrars (for .com, that would be VeriSign) which in turn delegate registration to secondary registrars such as namecheap.com or register.com.

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Well then what's the point in having all these separate companies div out all the .com's. Why can't ICANN just handle it?

And if my idea of having the government do it is wrong then where is ICANN? Is ICANN a company or a branch of the government? If some company can be in charge of all the domains then why not just put the US government in charge of it and get rid of all these stupid little domain registrars.

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Original post by icecubeflower
Well then what's the point in having all these separate companies div out all the .com's. Why can't ICANN just handle it?


ICANN is responsible for supervising the domain registration process—and you cannot reliably supervise something if you're the one doing that thing. So, ICANN handles the high-level administrative details of deciding whether the top-level domain registrars are doing their job, and that's all.

Then, there's the issue of hosting companies: it's much easier to have the customer pay, at the same time, for both his domain name and his hosting. This is only possible if the hosting company is somehow allowed to buy a domain for a customer, which is why it was allowed. Conversely, it's also much easier for the top-level domain registrars to have a corporate-only interface (inaccessible to normal users because they don't have the time or knowledge to fill in the data correctly) and let the individual registrars handle the end user requests and bill them.

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And if my idea of having the government do it is wrong then where is ICANN? Is ICANN a company or a branch of the government?


The ICANN is a non-profit corporation—while technically declared on the American soil, it does not obey the US government as much as it collaborates with it.

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If some company can be in charge of all the domains then why not just put the US government in charge of it and get rid of all these stupid little domain registrars.


There's an extremely simple reason for this: international law. Who decides what IP the domain icecubeflower.com redirects to? Ultimately, it's the government of the country the visitor lives in, which can coerce ISPs into using a certain DNS description instead of another. Would it be acceptable for each country to have its own set of .com domains? No, it would not, because you would then have to register your domain name in every country (and things would cost far, far more than a simple VeriSign + ICANN registration, because the government of Farawayistan has no reason to provide a free service to an US taxpayer).

Therefore, the countries have to agree on a common list, which will involve delegating the creation and handling of that list to some entity or another. However, a government is not a valid candidate, because no country wants to delegate its internal affairs to the government of another country! If the US government decided tomorrow that it is now in charge of .com domain name allocation, then the Chinese government could just as well say the same thing, just like any other national government—the end result being that each country has its own registration system.

As a consequence, the simplest solution to handle a common list is to create an artificial entity which is government-independent. This is the reason why the ICANN exists.

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Original post by icecubeflower
I don't get it.


Assume that the US government (or a dependent agency) decides to attribute the domain icecubeflower.com to you. An American visiting icecubeflower.com accesses your website. Someone from anywhere else in the world visiting icecubeflower.com gets a "this website does not exist" error (or is possibly sent to a website owned by someone else than yourself).

Why? Because the US government cannot decide what a Chinese internet service provider should associate icecubeflower.com with. So, a Chinese ISP could freely decide that, for its customers, icecubeflower.com is a porn site, or a warez site, or anything but your own website, and there is nothing you can do about it.

So, if domain attribution was done by the US government, you would only own your domain in the US. This is hardly interesting if you were intending to get visitors from outside the US, because those visitors won't be able to access your site using the domain you registered.

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I don't see what difference it makes. ICANN could get drunk on power and do the same thing. I don't see that the Chinese have to listen to ICANN anyway. All those things are a possibility with the current system.

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As a side note, if the registration was a free service offered by the US government, and if the other countries were fine with it, then it would actually cost you more than the current setup.

Basically, you're an US taxpayer. You're the one who pays for the service, through your taxes. However, your average Russian, Chinese or Nigerian opportunist, who registers hundreds of domains at the same time because they are similar to valid names (for instance, www.oogle.com), is not an US taxpayer, which means that you'll also have to pay for him. In essence, Americans (including you) pay not only for the registration of their domains, but also for all the domain registrations performed by non-Americans.

So, even if the registration service was provided by the US government, it still wouldn't be free.

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Original post by icecubeflower
I don't see what difference it makes. ICANN could get drunk on power and do the same thing.


Except that it couldn't do so for long. The ICANN is a non-profit corporation which is being paid to do the job it was created to do—correctly allocate top-level domain responsibility to registrars. If it stopped doing its job, you could simply send your lawyers in, take the case to court, and collect your money.

You cannot do the same for governments.

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I don't see that the Chinese have to listen to ICANN anyway. All those things are a possibility with the current system.


They don't have to. However, it's much easier to trust a corporation than it is to trust a government. As I've said above, if the ICANN starts going astray, the Chinese can throw a lawsuit at it. If the US government starts going astray, it will be much harder to get anything done to prevent it.

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Contrary to what Americans believe, the US is not the over-ruling power of the world. If you were the government of, say Australia, would you like that the US was controlling everything? Probably not, so you would do everything yourself and the internet would be different depending on what country you were in.

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How can the Chinese sue ICANN? Whose court system would we use, the UN?

I mean what if a Miami Cuban wanted to sue Fidel Castro, who would listen?

If ICANN is non-profit and it's being paid to do the job then who is paying them? It's either a government or all the companies that div out the .com's. I think the possibility of corruption and the whole system going balls up is the same either way.

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You can sue anyone in their home country. In case of organizations, this is the country in which their headquarters are. In the case of ICANN, it is the US, specifically California. So if the Chinese government wants to sue them, they do so in a California court. The applicable law is American law unless agreed upon otherwise at the outset.

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Original post by icecubeflower
How can the Chinese sue ICANN? Whose court system would we use, the UN?


Time for a quick international law refresher, then.

  • People, governments and corporations are legal entities with international recognition. Any legal entity may sue any other legal entity for a violation of a legal requirement. The case is taken to court in the country where the (allegedly violated) legal requirement originated.

  • To sue a corporation, all you need is a lawyer (actually, a corporate law specialist, but that is one of the most frequent kinds of lawyer you encounter). A lawsuit can be attached to a large set of legal requirements: for instance, the requirement to be non-profit, or the requirement to follow the objective set upon its creation, or a contract established with one of the parties, and so on. Basically, it's so common to sue a corporation that it's very easy to do.

  • In practice, if ICANN does something which does not respect the correct and just attribution of a domain name, then you call up your corporate lawyer and sit back. This works regardless of whether you're a human, a corporation, or a country.

  • To sue a government, you need to determine what the government has violated. Was it a national contract? You need a special type of lawyer. Was it an international contract? That's another type of lawyer, though possibly not as special. Was it an international treaty? You can't sue, sorry. Was it an international declaration? You can't sue either. Was there no contract? No lawsuit either, then.

  • In practice, a government can only be sued if it has submitted itself of its own will to a legal requirement (within a given national jurisdiction) which it has then violated. Unlike corporations (which are under legal requirements because of their very nature and existence), governments have no defined objective aside from their constitution. Also, unlike corporations (which may only interact with other legal entities through contracts), governments are allowed to establish treaties, which are by default subject to no national jurisdiction. As such, as an individual or corporation, finding an edge to sue a government is much harder, because there are not as many legal requirements to bind a government, and governments tend to avoid these anyway.


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You can sue anyone in their home country. In case of organizations, this is the country in which their headquarters are.


Actually, where the lawsuit happens is independent of the home country of the legal entity. What matters is the national jurisdiction under which the violated legal constraint existed. So, if an American corporation and a Chinese corporation entered a lawsuit over a contract established in Australia, then it would happen before an Australian court.

The case for ICANN would indeed happen in California, but this is because the contracts with ICANN are (to the best of my knowledge) established under Californian law, not because ICANN itself is established California (it could be Irish and it still wouldn't matter).

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I mean what if a Miami Cuban wanted to sue Fidel Castro, who would listen?


Whatever jurisdiction is responsible for the tort used as a basis for the case.

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If ICANN is non-profit and it's being paid to do the job then who is paying them?
They are paid administration fees, which are used to keep the thing running. Being non-profit doesn't mean that you cannot earn money to cover your costs.

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It's either a government or all the companies that div out the .com's. I think the possibility of corruption and the whole system going balls up is the same either way.
It's easier to clean the mess if a non-government entity is responsible. You can't issue a serious ultimatum to a western government.

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Original post by icecubeflower
How can the Chinese sue ICANN? Whose court system would we use, the UN?

I mean what if a Miami Cuban wanted to sue Fidel Castro, who would listen?

If ICANN is non-profit and it's being paid to do the job then who is paying them? It's either a government or all the companies that div out the .com's. I think the possibility of corruption and the whole system going balls up is the same either way.


Look bud.

The Internet is international, and if you wish to use it, someone must supervise how things are done. And someone must also do it. These both cost money, which is the reason you pay for domain registration. It costs money to become a domain name registrar; there are setup fees and time-based fees (monthly/yearly charges). So, they end up having to sell a large number of domains if they want to keep up with the costs. Now, that's for the basic .com domain registration. Depending on the LTD (ie, .org, .net, etc...), the pricing may vary.

ICANN happens to be the top entity in this hierarchy. They dish out the different LTDs to other companies, such as VeriSign. If you don't use ICANN, that's fine, but you're not going to be using the same Internet that the rest of us use. If you're worried about them invading our Internet and becoming control freaks, why haven't they already done it? They've had plenty of time to do some bastardly things.

Not to mention that there are international laws in place, and in those laws include the possibility for international lawsuit. So, if ICANN strikes a deal with someone, and they back down, then they can get in some pretty big trouble.

Honestly, it sounds like you're having a panic attack because you don't trust one of the founding pillars of the Internet (which you happen to use every time you click a link btw).

My advice: Godaddy.com

I've used them plenty, and it's definitely not a rip-off.

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Original post by ToohrVyk
Actually, where the lawsuit happens is independent of the home country of the legal entity. What matters is the national jurisdiction under which the violated legal constraint existed. So, if an American corporation and a Chinese corporation entered a lawsuit over a contract established in Australia, then it would happen before an Australian court.

The case for ICANN would indeed happen in California, but this is because the contracts with ICANN are (to the best of my knowledge) established under Californian law, not because ICANN itself is established California (it could be Irish and it still wouldn't matter).


The question is on which form of jurisdiction you are basing your claim. A claim out of contract will (in the case of an international contract) primarily be settled according to the law and the forum laid out the in the contract itself. In case the issue is not settled through arbitration, you can choose to sue in front of any forum that has jurisdiction. Whether a given national court has jurisdiction is a matter of the respective national law. A violated legal constraint in a contract can hardly localize a lawsuit as the contract was breached and not national law itself. National law ramifications of contracts are localized, yes, but such scenarios usually throw up quite a bit of trouble and are usually settled in arbitration over a chosen national law, which could be any one. Swiss law seems to be quite popular in this respect.

So to stick with your example, the Chinese company could sue the American one in Australia, given that the Australian court asserts jurisdiction over such disputes. Still, the home court of the American corporation would have concurrent in personam jurisdiction according to the Pennoyer vs. Neff / Worldwide Volkswagen vs. Woodson / International Shoe caselaw. According to the same line of cases, an Irish corporation with a branch in California could be sued in California, even if the contract in question was concluded in Belgium and breached in Kuala Lumpur. The same thing is true for claims out of torts, with the exception that contractual provisions don't apply unless the tort is a breach of contract, making it effectively a contractual suit then. This all is a feature of US law in this respect as the question of which courts have jurisdiction effectively depends on the various national legal orders' approach to out of state lawsuits.

[Edited by - Sleep on March 16, 2008 8:10:24 PM]

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Lies, all lies. Clearly register.com has infiltrated every level of internet communication and they've gotten to you, too. Well they're not taking me. I'm not swallowing their propaganda.

The government should control domains and no fair take backs times infinity. I win.

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Original post by icecubeflower
Lies, all lies. Clearly register.com has infiltrated every level of internet communication and they've gotten to you, too. Well they're not taking me. I'm not swallowing their propaganda.

The government should control domains and no fair take backs times infinity. I win.


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Original post by icecubeflower
Cool, my first flame war.
Which you're going to either politely withdraw from, or potentially face a short suspension of posting privledges. The other members have been very patient and have put plenty of effort into both answering your questions and providing further clarification, and stupid comments like the one three above this are both disrespectful to those who have been trying to help you and a waste of time for other readers who may otherwise be learning from the discussion.


As to the topic, you can either use a registrar (who will on some level of indirection be dealing with ICANN) or you can not participate in the world wide web with everyone else (in the sense that you will not have any viable means of owning a domain name).


//EDIT: Oh, you also asked about web hosting... Nearly Free Speech are excellent if you're happy with the restrictions provided by their hosting, and although they're quite a bit more expensive I've heard nothing but good things about Media Temple. If you're not happy with one of those you're welcome to search the forum for one of the many previous threads which asked the same question without all the innane ranting.

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Original post by icecubeflower
How do I politely withdraw, just delete the whole thread?
Just stop responding, deleting the whole thread would be pretty impolite as well given the amount of time people have spent responding to you.

You're fine to answer any direct questions people ask or continue discussion of the features of various hosts if you're still genuinely interested in finding a good host for your site(s), but you should let the whole registration/ICANN thing drop.

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Lies, all lies. Clearly register.com has infiltrated every level of internet communication and they've gotten to you, too. Well they're not taking me. I'm not swallowing their propaganda.

The government should control domains and no fair take backs times infinity. I win.


Alright. If anybody's still reading this sorry I didn't mean anything by it, I didn't have anything else to say on the topic and I thought it was funny, guess it wasn't. I guess I can see how it would be offensive if you spent a lot of time trying to teach me something though. I wasn't really looking at it that way.

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